JALPAIGURI: At least nine people have been killed and another 45 injured when a passenger train derailed from its track in the Indian state of West Bengal, officials confirmed on Friday.
According to India’s Asian News International (ANI) news agency, the train was on its way to Gauhati in Assam state from Bikaner, a city in Rajasthan, when the crash occurred in Jalpaiguri. A total of three coaches overturned.
#UPDATE | Death toll in Bikaner-Guwahati Express mishap has risen to 9. Rescue operation is over. 36 injured were admitted to different hospitals. Passengers were sent to Guwahati by special train: Union Minister John Barla
(Latest visuals from the spot in Domohani, Jalpaiguri) pic.twitter.com/MpoLsrZnLZ
— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2022
Soon after the accident was reported, local administration and rescue workers rushed to the spot of the accident and started shifting the injured to a nearby hospital where medical treatment was provided to them.
Images from the scene showed passengers stuck inside the destroyed coaches as rescuers tried to pull them out. Railway authorities have ordered an investigation into the cause of the accident.
Families of both the deceased and injured will receive financial compensation from the Indian government. Rescue officials had cleared the track after train bogeys were removed and train service was also restored as it was suspended due to the accident.
India’s Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reached the train accident site near Domohani, Jalpaiguri and said: “A statutory inquiry has been initiated. PM Modi is monitoring the situation and I’m in constant touch with him. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”
Accidents are particularly common on India’s vast ageing rail network. Safety standards remain a concern over the state-run system, which operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries about 23 million commuters every day.
In 2016, 127 people were killed when 14 coaches derailed in Uttar Pradesh state in one of India’s worst train accidents.